Mother! Mother!

Mary Jean Chan repeats “ark” already twice in the opening poems in Flèche, which reminds me a sentence I contributed to our collective poem — each person a stanza — for the poetry class. It was “Love is not an ark“. Prof. loved it. It was presented at last as a grand finale. It feels good when there is a tiny crack of “acceptance”.

From her mother’s fables in China to her escape to Hong Kong; from Mary Jean’s walking out of this life to the formation of THE SELF, pages soaked in mother-daughter’s painful relationships, yet is also an “ideological wound” that children suffer for thousands of years.

One day, it becomes a choice: to walk out of this life, or to begin living mine
I left half of my language behind to escape my impeccable persona
-- "A Wild Patience Has Taken Me This Far" by Mary Jean Chan in Flèche

In Mary Jean’s poems, cities are not exempted, they are open wounds of last generations’ unsettling/continuing pain. All reek of —

a scripted tragedy. — mary jean chan

Mother/daughter relationship has been featured in literature under various themes but never enough. The multitude of sensitivities still reaches out for manipulation and caving in. Mary Jean’s poems delves into a specific cravings her mother has, searching food at night in the fridge, longing for love or exploiting power of controlling of having food? “Parry” as a term in fencing became a technique in poet’s life, so did many of us. The battle with parents is the battle with our submissive selves that keep folding our limbs to fit parents’ expectations, they, in turn, never can be pleased. It will take a long time for kids to stop trying on that. It is love keeps the wheel running. As Mary Jean chants,

love is patient, love is kind. –Mary Jean Chan

For every child who are struggling between worlds, trying to find a place in the world where is acceptance and love, for every child choose a second language to express how and what they feel, for every child who thought physical distance could provide an independent choice, Mary Jean Chan’s poetry walk with you hand in hand. There will not be a person probably to understand the same pain one goes through, but it is sufficient to know that there are people walking together with you, sometimes hand in hand.